Women's progression to senior positions in English universities

DOHERTY, L. and MANFREDI, S. (2006). Women's progression to senior positions in English universities. Employee relations, 28 (6), 553-572.

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Link to published version:: 10.1108/01425450610704498

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this research is to explore the career routes and advancement procedures for both academic and support staff in English universities and the extent to which these might constitute barriers to progression. Design/methodology/approach – The research was conducted in four universities, two pre-1992 universities and two post-1992 universities, based in one region of England. Secondary data were collected in the form of equality monitoring statistics and documentation relating to the universities' advancement procedures. Primary data were collected through 26 semi-structured interviews with senior people involved in decision-making about promotions. These included HR specialists and senior academics such as Deans, Pro Vice-Chancellors and Vice-Chancellors. Findings – The research shows that women are now progressing well to the promoted lecturer grade, but that their careers stall beyond this level. Women's less developed research profile is the main impediment to them gaining professorial status. In “old” universities, the processes used for progression to some senior academic management roles are obscure and may operate as a form of indirect discrimination. There is some evidence that women adopt a version of the transformational leadership style, but it is not clear whether this helps or hinders their career progression. In addition, women are more reluctant than men to put themselves forward for advancement and they value work-life balance.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: gender, management styles, promotion, United Kingdom, universities, women executives
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Centre for Individual and Organisational Development
Identification Number: 10.1108/01425450610704498
Depositing User: Ann Betterton
Date Deposited: 21 May 2008
Last Modified: 09 Dec 2009 18:23
URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/722

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